December 18, 2016

Thanksgiving in an RV

RV, Thanksgiving, Turkey, Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest, Smoked Ham

This week will be a little different. I'll be posting about our experience with holidays in the RV and how we've celebrated and decorated. Hope you enjoy!

I got an email the day before I planned on grocery shopping for Turkey Day. The email's main article was on How to celebrate Thanksgiving in your RV. They listed 5 ways to get 'er done. As soon as I saw the title I assumed it would be advice on how to manage such a huge meal in SUCH a small space. Uh no! Here are the tips the email listed: cook outside, grill it, cook with a group, have it catered or go out. I was not impressed people, not impressed at all! I decided (with a little push from a good friend) to create a post on what we did to make our Thanksgiving meal a success. Complete with recipes that you will love.

Note: We purchased disposable containers to cook and store all of our Thanksgiving dishes in. We don't have space for the corningware we typically use for Turkey Day. I also don't have a mixer or a blender so I used a fork and a potato masher for everything. As for the marinade E usually uses a blender but ended up chopping everything really fine. Fun times for all.

Here are my 5 tips (let's hope these are more useful to you):

1. Plan and prep ahead of time. Anything and everything that can be made ahead of time DO IT! We didn't go with a huge turkey this year as we do every other year. We ended up with 2 turkey legs and a boneless turkey (in all of its cute little glory) from Whole Foods and a small ham. Edson made a marinade for the turkey and the ham and let it soak up all the goodness for 2 days. I made the cranberry-orange sauce ahead of time. I then put it in a container and stuck it in the fridge to chill. I made the sweet potato pie minus the marshmallows and kept it covered in the microwave. I would've made our other pie, too but the kids had gone to bed and I knew they wanted to help.

Waiting for Thanksgiving meal to be ready
What the kids did while Mommy got things started
2. Get started early. We woke up around 8am and immediately went to town. Edson got the turkey in the oven. I started with prepping the cinnamon roll apple pie. The kids and I cut the apples, cut and rolled out the cinnamon rolls creating the crust and voila-- it was ready for the oven. However, the oven is full seeing as though it is the size of a pea. It sat in the microwave. We moved onto the stuffing. Goodness gracious I love my mom's stuffing. It is the best!

Pealing potatoes for mashed potatoes
3. Manage time wisely. That turkey in the oven early is key. We were then able to warm the ham through by shoving it in the oven (quite literally) with the turkey. We only have three burners on our stove and the space between them is next to nothing so large pots are really a one-at-a-time type of deal. That meant, preparing the stuffing first then putting it in one of our disposable aluminum pans and covering. Same thing goes for the green bean casserole. I sauteed the onions and mushrooms then added the cream of mushroom soup and green beans and put that in a disposable container and topped it with the crunchy fried onions, covered it and waited for space in the oven. Last was the mashed potatoes which Niko had been peeling while I was making the green bean casserole. I cut up the potatoes and got them to a boil. As the potatoes finished up I decided that I didn't need to heat them in the oven I broke my one pan rule and attempted gravy. At that point the turkey was out and we had put the stuffing in the oven. Once that warmed through we put the green bean casserole in and Daddy started to cut the ham and turkey.

4. Use your countertops! They are your friend! Once everything was done we put the covers on our sink. That gave us enough room to set out all of the food and start piling the food on plates. Thank goodness for that extra bit of space. Niko was ready to put all of it on the table. Yeah buddy, not gonna work. The 5 of us with plates barely fit at the table.

Cranberry sauce, sage and sausage stuffing, turkey, ham and greenbean casserole
Every square inch is being used and it's a yummy mess.
Kids cheers over some sparkling apple cider and Thanksgiving meal
Reno about to enjoy his Thanksgiving meal
Kids enjoying Thanksgiving meal

5. Let your belly rest. I don't know about your family but at our house my kids want dessert the second they are finished with the main meal. I really don't know where they put it. This year we let our bellies settle which allowed me to cook the cinnamon roll apple pie in the oven while we finished up our meal. I then put the sweet potato pie in to broil and brown the marshmallows a bit. Dessert was served to some anxious children about an hour after we finished the main meal and they devoured it.

Cayenne about to eat cinnamon bun apple pie
Someone doesn't want to wait!

Kids with sweet potato and cinnamon bun apple pies
Stop with the pictures Mommy! We want the pie!

Below are the recipes that aren't online. The stuffing is a family recipe and the marinades are just an Edson standard.

 Our Thanksgiving was delish.

We are looking forward to our next holiday meal this Christmas. Any excuse to overeat is always a good time. I hope you all enjoy these recipes and possibly even consider them for your holiday table. I would absolutely suggest that everyone with kids in the house attempt the Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie (mine LOVED it and deemed it a favorite).

Happy Holidays!


  1. Wow! Great job! And Yum! That cinnamon roll apple pie sounds so ooooo ooooo good!

  2. The Cortes family should named The Fantastic 5!! Dinner looked amazing! :) :)
    Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie is on the new menu for sure!

    Paige you are phenomenal multitasker! I can't wait for Christmas dinner.
    I look forward to my "Peacin' Out" email pop ups.